- Megan Bingham
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They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they were grown-up men and women who had gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But none of them could withstand the force that drew them back to Derry, Maine to face the nightmare without an end, and the evil without a name. (catalog summary)
It (titled onscreen as It: Chapter One) is a 2017 American supernatural horror film directed by Andy Muschietti, based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Stephen King. The first of a planned duology, the film tells the story of seven children in Derry, Maine, who are terrorized by the eponymous being, only to face their own personal demons in the process. The novel was previously adapted into a 1990 miniseries. It premiered in Los Angeles on September 5, 2017, and was theatrically released in the United States on September 8, 2017. Upon release, the film set numerous box office records and has grossed over $478 million worldwide. It received positive reviews, with critics praising the performances, direction, cinematography, and musical score, and many calling it one of the best Stephen King adaptations. A sequel is set to be released on September 6, 2019.¹
If you like the horror and intrigue of Stephen King's It, check out these other spooky titles.
"The Body" novella by Stephen King (in the short story collection, Different Seasons)
Stand by Me is the movie based on short story
The story takes place during the summer of 1960 in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine. After a boy from Chamberlain, Maine named Ray Brower disappears and is presumed dead, Gordie Lachance and his three friends, Chris Chambers, Teddy Duchamp, and Vern Tessio set out to find his body after telling their parents they will be camping out. During the course of their journey, the boys, who all come from abusive or dysfunctional families, come to grips with some of the harsh truths of growing up in a small factory town that does not seem to offer them much in the way of a future. (catalog summary)
The Boys of Summer by Richard Cox
In 1979, a massive tornado devastated the city of Wichita Falls, Texas, leaving scores dead, thousands homeless, and nine-year-old Todd Willis in a coma, fighting for his life. Four years later, Todd awakens to a world that looks the same but feels different in a way he can't quite grasp. For Todd, it's a struggle to separate fact from fiction as he battles lingering hallucinations from his long sleep. The new friends Todd makes in 1983 are fascinated with his experience and become mesmerized by his strange relationship with the world. Together the five boys come of age during a dark, fiery summer where they find first love, betrayal, and a secret so terrible they agree to never speak of it again. But darkness returns to Wichita Falls twenty-five years later, and the boys-now men-are forced to reunite and confront the wounds from their past. When their memories of that childhood summer refuse to align with reality, the friends embark upon a search for truth that will threaten their lives and transform their understanding of each — other and the world — itself forever. (catalog summary)
Read a review here on The Boys of Summer.
Disappearance at Devil's Rock: A Novel by Paul Tremblay
When her fourteen-year-old son disappears during a summer sleepover at Devil's Rock, Elizabeth and other residents of the town begin to see his ghost throughout the town, which leads her to believe that he is dead. She tries to maintain a sense of calm to help her younger daughter, Katie, but her anxiety builds when she begins to find crumpled pages of Tommy's journal which contain disturbing connections between Tommy's father's death, a stranger named Arnold, and a macabre folktale. (catalog summary)
Dreamcatcher by Stephen King
Once upon a time, in the haunted city of Derry, four boys stood together and did a brave thing. Certainly a good thing, perhaps even a great thing. Something that changed them in ways they could never begin to understand.Twenty-five years later, the boys are now men with separate lives and separate troubles. But the ties endure. Each hunting season the foursome reunite in the woods of Maine. This year, a stranger stumbles into their camp, disoriented, mumbling something about lights in the sky. His incoherent ravings prove to be disturbingly prescient. Before long, these men will be plunged into a horrifying struggle with a creature from another world. Their only chance of survival is locked in their shared past—and in the Dreamcatcher. (catalog summary)
Insomnia by Stephen King
Ralph Roberts has a problem: he isn't sleeping so well these days. In fact, he's hardly sleeping at all. Each morning, the news conveyed by the bedside clock is a little worse: 3:15...3:02...2:45...2:15. The books call it "premature waking"; Ralph, who is still learning to be a widower, calls it a season in hell. He's begun to notice a strangeness in his familiar surroundings, to experience visual phenomena that he can't quite believe are hallucinations. Soon, Ralph thinks, he won't be sleeping at all, and what then? A problem, yes—though perhaps not so uncommon, you might say. But Ralph has lived his entire life in Derry, Maine, and Derry isn't like other places, as millions of Stephen King readers will gladly testify. They remember It, also set in Derry, and know there's a mean streak running through this small New England city; underneath its ordinary surface, awesome and terrifying forces are at work. The dying, natural and otherwise, has been going on in Derry for a long, long time. Now Ralph is part of it. So are his friends. And so are the strangers they encounter. (catalog summary)
Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
The summer of 1977. The Blyton Summer Detective Club (of Blyton Hills, a small mining town in Oregon's Zoinx River Valley) solved their final mystery and unmasked the elusive Sleepy Lake monster—another low-life fortune hunter trying to get his dirty hands on the legendary riches hidden in Deboën Mansion. And he would have gotten away with it too if it weren't for those meddling kids. 1990. The former detectives have grown up and apart, each haunted by disturbing memories of their final night in the old haunted house. There are too many strange, half-remembered encounters and events that cannot be dismissed or explained away by a guy in a mask . . . The time has come to get the team back together, face their fears, and find out what actually happened all those years ago at Sleepy Lake. It's their only chance to end the nightmares and, perhaps, save the world. (catalog summary)
My Best Friend's Exorcism: A Novel by Grady Hendrix
1988. Charleston, South Carolina. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. But after an evening of skinny-dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act—different. She's moody. She's irritable. And bizarre incidents keep happening whenever she's nearby. Abby's investigation leads her to some startling discoveries—and by the time their story reaches its terrifying conclusion, the fate of Abby and Gretchen will be determined by a single question: Is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil? (catalog summary)
Read a review here on My Best Freind's Exorcism.
NOS4A2: A Novel by Joe Hill
Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photography, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it's across Massachusetts or across the country. Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing--and terrifying--playground of amusements he calls "Christmasland." Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx's unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He's on the road again and he's picked up a new passenger: Vic's own son. (catalog summary)
Paper Girls, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan
In the early hours after Halloween on 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and supernatural mysteries collide in this series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood. (catalog summary)
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
The carnival rolls in sometime after midnight, ushering in Halloween a week early. The shrill siren song of a calliope beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. In this season of dying, Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. And two boys will discover the secret of its smoke, mazes, and mirrors; two friends who will soon know all too well the heavy cost of wishes . . . and the stuff of nightmares. (catalog summary)